This is the time of year that I like to light candles and have my house smell really, really good!!! Not that I don’t like it to smell good in all seasons, but for some reason this time of year I am ready for candles and cinnamon, nutmeg and all those holiday kind of smells. Fall smells make me happy!
Unfortunately, most scented candles, room sprays, plug-in diffusers, etc. also release toxins into the air. Numerous health risks have been linked to exposure to toxic chemicals, including disrupting the hormonal, reproductive and immune systems. When these body systems are compromised, it can lead to all kinds of health concerns.
One of the most common substances found in almost every room-freshening compound are the hormone-disrupting phthalates (pronounced thay-lates). Phthalates are a group of chemicals used mainly to make plastics more flexible and harder to break. In fact, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) conducted an independent study of 14 common air fresheners, none of which listed phthalates as an ingredient. Twelve of the 14 tested (86%) revealed this chemical, even some advertised as “all-natural” or “unscented.” Because of the characteristics of this chemical, it is used in many other items such as personal care products, building materials, adhesives, lubricants, detergents, food products, pharmaceutical products, cleaning chemicals, and shower curtains. This is just a small sampling of products where this chemical compound can be found.
Most candles are made from paraffin, which is a waste by-product of the petroleum industry. The toxins released when burning are similar to those released from a diesel engine. In addition, paraffin is soft, so some wicks contain lead in them so they will hold up better when burning. This in turn releases lead into your home environment.
In a world already overloaded with toxins, I choose not to put my health at risk by using these conventional methods of making the air smell good. Non-toxic living does NOT mean boring, un-enjoyable, and stinky! Below are some non-toxic ways to enjoy this fall and upcoming holiday season. The best part is that many of them use essential oils, so you have the added benefit of aromatherapy and I love that some of my favorite fall scents have health benefits!
Ways To Make Your Home Smell Good Without Toxic Chemicals
- Open the windows an inch or two, ideally on opposite sides of the house, to exchange fresh air. Of course, this might not be the best option if it is raining or very cold outside!
- Create a fall-themed potpourri in a Mason jar or glass bowl. Use cinnamon sticks, dried orange slices, cloves, juniper berry, and pine cones. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil (such as Cedarwood, Cinnamon, orange or pine) for a little extra added kick. Not only will it smell good, but it looks pretty too!
- Use 100% beeswax candles with cotton wicks. These candles are free from the toxins found in conventional candles. Trim wicks to ¼” to reduce the amount of soot generated from burning.
- Create a stove-top potpourri. Simmering the same items above in a small pan will also smell really good, or you can choose something totally different. Try using a vanilla bean with rosemary and laurel leaves for another fall smell.
- Diffuse essential oils. I use and recommend Young Living essential oils and their diffusers rather than the type that heats the oil as heat damages the beneficial properties of the oils. There are a lot of really superb smelling diffuser recipes out there but my favorite right now is called Woodland Walk – 4 drops Idaho Balsam Fir, 3 drops Orange, 2 drops Clove. You’ll love it if you try it!
- Sprinkle baking soda on the carpet before vacuuming. Using 1 cup of baking soda, add up to 10 drops of Purification and 5 drops of Thieves® essential oil. Whisk everything together and put it in a canning jar (I love Mason jars!) then let sit for 20 minutes. Before using, punch holes into the lid of the jar and sprinkle on the carpet. After 20 minutes, vacuum it up. While I am not a big fan of carpet (the plastics used to create the fibers are toxic), using baking soda and essential oils together works well.
- Buy flameless candles. I love these because they look and feel like real candles but operate on battery power with a timer. Be sure to get the unscented ones so you don’t have those nasty chemicals polluting your air and diffuse essential oils when you have them on instead.
- Make your own fragrance spray. In a small (preferably glass) spray bottle, combine ten drops of an essential oil per 1 ounce of water. Shake well before spraying. I like the combination of Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove and orange! These handy sprays can be used in the bathroom, to spray on linens or smelly upholstery or to freshen up any room. Lavender is great to mist on your pillows before bedtime. If you don’t want to take the time to make your own spray, the Thieves® Spray is a great option.
These are just a few ways you can make your home smell great and in a non-toxic way.
Are you interested in learning more about the essential oils I recommend and getting them at a discounted rate? Contact me! I look forward to sharing essential oil and natural solutions with you.
- Are Your Candles Toxic? by Tracy Fernandez Rysavy
- Protect Your Family from the Hidden Hazards in Air Fresheners
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is not to be construed as medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any medical condition. These statements made have not been approved by the FDA, nor should they be taken as a substitute for medical advice from a licensed physician.
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